Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Birds of a Feather

Interesting what happens in a week, isn’t it?

Last week, I explained that there was no need to worry about the Sox. Even though they were a paltry 11-14, the world would not end. They could still play .613 ball the rest of the season and make it respectable. Since then? The Sox swept a four-game set from the Angels, took one of three from the Yankees, and the first game against Toronto. So, they are now 17-16 after 33 games. If I repeat my little exercise to see what they need to do the rest of the season…to get to 95 wins, the Sox need to go 78-51. That means playing ball at a .605 clip. Look at that. It’s even easier now!

I will admit, though. This weekend was not a lot of fun. I don’t know what happened to Josh Beckett on Friday. I can only assume that sometimes pitchers have that happen to them. He was pitching very well, and then just lost it. Hope he finds it again in the next couple days.

Clay pitched pretty well on Saturday, despite the monsoon that finally ended his day. I had the misfortune of being at that game, and didn’t enjoy very much of it. It was nice to see the Sox get to CC a little bit. He didn’t look like he was mowing through anybody. Clay held it together while he was there, and at least gave the Sox a chance. A couple surprising things, at least to me, from Saturday. Joba Chamberlain is huge. I saw him warming up, but couldn’t tell who he was. I just wondered who the chubby guy was blocking out the sun in the Yankees ‘pen. I almost fell out of my seat when I realized it was Joba. I also thought it was interesting that two pitchers got hurt following the rain delay, and nobody went out to check the mound. Sure, it was possible that the two injuries weren’t related. But, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen two of them go down in an inning. I think I would have tossed some kitty litter out there, just to be safe.

Sunday’s game was more of what I expect. Lester pitched wonderfully, and the Sox line-up took advantage of an inferior pitcher. It was exactly the kind of game that the Sox team was built for. It’s also a telling example of the problems with using stats early in the season. Entering the game, Burnett was undefeated, with an ERA under two. After the game? Not so much. So, what if he had this game to start the season, instead of waiting until now. Everything else would be the same, but his ERA would have looked awful all season. You’d assume he was struggling all year. Just a cautionary tale.

The Sox have another division foe in Fenway. They managed to take the first game. Once again, the pitching wasn’t great. But, it was good enough to win the game. I’m pretty sure that’s the whole point. Sure, I’d prefer lackey pitched more like Lester. But, I can forgive a hiccup…or six. Hopefully, this is the start of another seires victory. If they can take at least two, it will go a long way. It will give them a great homestand. It will inch them closer to the 95-win total. It will get even more games out of the way missing two outfielders. It will put the team in a pretty good place. And, with Dice and Wake going, I like their chances.

In one of the games, anyway.

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